Welcome to my blog “A Place to PAUSE and Find: Peace, Purpose and Passion”! I hope you have joined me from somewhere else in CYBER land. Today is Day #3 out of 30 in our journey to an UNSTUCK CHRISTMAS!
So far, I hope you have grabbed a 3-ring binder to store a print version of our daily emails. I have added some plain notebook paper to the back of my notebook and plan to store it with my Christmas decorations after Christmas. It will be a sweet reminder of our time together as well as a record of blessings and memories for next year.
As I shared yesterday, my personal tradition is to begin to decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. I will share an easy tip in the HOME section below that I hope you’ll enjoy.
Regardless of your plans for the day, let’s relish a few minutes with God’s Word as we step a bit deeper into our family story of Zechariah and Elizabeth.
Hugs and Blessings!
11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense.12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear.13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John.” 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth,15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born.16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God.17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous – to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” 18 Zechariah asked the angel,” How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” Luke 1:11-18 (NIV)
We have seen that Zechariah was a man whom we have already identified as “upright, obedient to God’s laws, a man who was chosen to serve as a ‘Priest’ before the Lord.”
Although I cannot imagine the honor of being described the way Zechariah was, I do relate to many occurrences in this scene.
For example, I am certain I would be “gripped by fear,” regardless of the level of my faith or my beliefs, if an ANGEL appeared before me in the middle of my prayer time!
Also, sometimes, even when I have a long list of the needs of others in front of me, I get distracted by my own needs and, like Zechariah, begin losing my focus. How about you friend? Can you relate to times of prayer that end up as time of pout?
God is good, all the time! The first thing the angel Gabriel said to him is “your prayer has been heard” and your wife will bear a son. THAT would be cool wouldn’t it? As words of your prayer are uttered, an ANGEL speaks up and says YES! Granted!
I don’t know about you, but as we enter into these last days until Christmas, I have some unanswered prayers. I have some unmet desires. I’m betting you do as well.
How about for the next few days we put those needs aside and “serve as priest” on behalf of our family and friends. Let’s lay aside, just for a few days, our own burdens, desires and unmet expectations.
Secondly, let’s decide NOT to be startled by God’s presence but rather to EXPECT it.
Let’s choose to believe and not doubt. Just for today 🙂
Prayer: Lord, thank you for ALWAYS hearing my prayers. You know what I need when I need it. You meet me when I pray, wherever I pray. Thank you that your Word instructs us that your ANGELS have charge over me and my family. At my command, they are assigned to guard and protect us. Help me to keep my eyes on you Lord. I am bringing my needs and the needs of my family to your throne today Lord. Help me to trust and depend upon you and most of all TO WATCH FOR YOU TODAY! Amen.
Now, A SIMPLE IDEA FOR YOUR UNSTUCK HOME!
Yesterday we focused our thoughts on how we are going to decorate or entertain during this holiday season. Today is Saturday, a good day, especially for those of us with outside jobs, to run a few errands and gather a few supplies. Our goal is an UNSTUCK Christmas where we may spend some time, like Zechariah did, ministering to the Lord and trusting Him with our needs. Tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent, so today is a great day to get some chores out of the way in preparation for some extra quiet time tomorrow.
Remember, our 30 day goal is “quiet time, reflective response, an intentional journey to the manger.”
We shall do our best, right?!! No pressure just encouragement!
The weekend after Thanksgiving I always make my list, as we suggested earlier, then I drag out my decorations and decide what I need from last year.
Easy tip: As I pack up my Christmas each year, I normally write a list of the items I need for NEXT year on my NEW Calendar on the October page. For example if I need batteries for a front door wreath, extra greenery, more bulb hooks…I will note them on October 2016 page so that I remember early next year.
So, go ahead and gift yourself with a new 2106 calendar that will be ready and waiting for your list as you pack away this year’s Christmas, or you may want to jot down reminders in your 30 day notebook! Of course, those savvy techies may just make a notation in her digital calendar.
Let’s get some HOME work done today shall we?
Decorating, cooking, gift ideas–are on my mind today 🙂 What about you? What does your home living look like today?
Please share either on my blog post at www.patlayton.net or my Facebook page.
We talked earlier about having a small budget for BLESSING those outside of our normal home zone.
AN UNSTUCK HARVEST!
How about as we run errands today, or keep dragging out decorating bins, or even shop for a tree, we ask God: “Who will cross my path today? Someone I possibly don’t even know, have never met?”
Who can I bless for you today Lord, and HOW?
Maybe, you will find someone with whom you can share your PERSONAL “Birth of Jesus Story” today. Most Christian book stores sell inexpensive Christmas “Tracks,” little mini-books that share the story of Christmas and the way to salvation. They are easy for you to carry in your purse and share at just the right moment.
If anyone would like to submit a “Harvest” idea that I can share in future e-mails, please email me firstname.lastname@example.org! Hearing from my friends makes my heart sing!!
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Tell me this–Have you EVER had a prayer out there that you wondered if God would EVER answer? Did He, or are you still waiting and expecting?!!